In the early hours of 19 May 2024, the Congolese army foiled an attempted coup in Kinshasa, the capital, amid ongoing political unrest surrounding the administration of President Felix Tshisekedi. Armed men, along with several foreigners, attacked the Palais de Nation — the presidential palace — briefly gaining control of the building prior to being expelled by security personnel following a gunbattle. The assailants targeted both the Palais de Nation and the nearby residence of the parliament speaker. Local media reports indicate that the attackers were led by Christian Malanga, the self-exiled leader of the United Congolese Party, who had threatened Tshisekedi in a live-streamed video a day earlier. At least four assailants were killed, including Malanga, in addition to two police officers. Authorities arrested approximately 50 individuals, including three U.S. nationals. The Congolese army declared that the situation in the capital city is under control, though security forces currently maintain an increased presence throughout Kinshasa.

Analyst Comment: In December 2023, President Tshisekedi was reelected in a highly contested election with about 78% of the vote. Opposition members criticized the lack of transparency due to significant logistical issues during the balloting process. Following the elections, both the opposition and civil society groups called for a rerun. Moreover, Tshisekedi has yet to fill key government ministerial positions since his reelection. The country has a history of disputed elections and coup attempts.